Law Firms

Trump's VP pick practiced law at a small firm; he wouldn't wish law school 'on a dog I didn't like'

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Mike Pence

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence. lev radin /

Donald Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, once practiced law at a small firm that handled a variety of legal work, including contract disputes and negotiations, real-estate transactions and landlord-tenant issues.

Pence graduated from Indiana University’s Robert H. McKinney School of Law in 1986, but he didn’t enjoy his time there, he told the Indianapolis Business Journal in 1994 in a story (PDF) noted by the Wall Street Journal Law Blog.

“No one I know likes law school. It was a bad experience. I wouldn’t wish it on a dog I didn’t like,” he told the Indianapolis Business Journal.

Pence scored low the first time he took the LSAT and didn’t get into the law school on the first try, according to the 1994 story. The second time he took the test he scored in the 84th percentile and won admission. He graduated in 1986 with “a solid B average,” according to the story.

Pence’s license is on inactive status in good standing. He practiced law at Stark Doninger Mernitz & Smith, which is currently known as Doninger Tuohy & Bailey, Bloomberg Big Law Business reports.

Name partner Brian Tuohy told Bloomberg that the firm probably had about six partners and four associates when Pence was there, and he only stayed a couple of years. “He was a very polite, pleasant, nice gentleman,” Tuohy said of Pence.

The 1994 story said Pence practiced corporate law, but Tuohy and name partner Patricia Bailey say that didn’t reflect the reality of practice at the law firm. “Philosophically, the firm took the approach that you do a little bit of everything” as an associate, Bailey told Bloomberg News.

Pence is a 1981 graduate of Hanover College, which has details of his political career here.

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